Employer Survey: Obamacare Had Limited Effect On Hiring, Hours Practices

September 22, 2015 12:23 p.m.

Employers say that Obamacare had only a limited effect in their hiring and hours practices, according to a survey conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust.

The report released Tuesday — revealed that only four percent of the employers with 50 or more workers said they downgraded full-time employees to part-time employees in order to avoid the coverage requirements under the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile 10 percent of the employers with 50 or more employees*​ boosted their part-time employees to full-time so the workers would be eligible for coverage. (The ACA requires employers with 100 more or more employees to provide coverage. That mandate will expand to include employers with 50-99 employees in 2016.)

Additionally, 5 percent of those employers said they reduced the number of employees they intended to hire because of the Obamacare coverage requirements while 2 percent increased waiting periods for workers because of the shared responsibility provision.

The findings undermine a common refrain expressed by Obamacare foes, who say the law will kill jobs and stunt economic growth.

The report did find that deductibles were on the rise since Obamacare’s enactment, increasing 67 percent since 2010 in terms of the share of workers with deductibles and the size of those deductibles.

While deductibles have spiked, the report said that premiums are rising at a rate similar to before the law was passed — 4 percent in the last year, compared to the average of 5 percent since 2005. Between 1999 and 2005 premiums rose an average of 11 percent annually.

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